ULLADULLA cricket sensation Matt Gilkes’ star continues to rise, after another impressive showing at the recent NSW CHS Boys Cricket Championships.
Representing the South Coast team, for the second straight year, the year 11 Ulladulla High School student took home the prestigious award of being named the player of the tournament.
Due to his batting and solid wicketkeeping, Gilkes joined the likes of Adam Gilchrist, Steve Smith, Phil Hughes and Corey Richards, with his name of the trophy.
“This is a huge honour and is definitely right up there for me,” Gilkes said.
“It’s easily one of the highest achievements of my career.
“You just have to look at some of the names on the trophy and see how far they have gone with their careers, to see how prestigious it is.”
The 16-year-old’s South Coast team ended up coming fourth, after the week long tournament in Sydney.
“On the first day, we played Sydney South-West and had a really tight win over them,” he said.
“It was a solid start to the week for me, with me scoring 40 runs.
“The next game was against Sydney West and we lost that game.
“I managed to score 30 against the team that finished one spot ahead of us, in third.
“The third game was against Riverina and this was easily my best match of the tournament.
“Against Riverina, I managed score 123 runs, as we scored 3/334 in the 50 overs.
“Fellow opener Tane Nunn (105) and I also teamed up for a 251 opening stand.”
“On the last day, we played Western and smashed them easily, with me scoring 29.”
After the tournament, Gilkes was named in to the NSW CHS boys team, as an opening batsmen and wicketkeeper, after being the competition’s second highest run-scorer behind Param Uppal.
Gilkes’ father Rob said he was happy that Matt was seeing a return on his hard work, after pouring a lot of work in to his practice.
“To fix his batting, he has put a lot of work into his training,” Rob Gilkes said.
“He turned it around with a huge showing at the National Cricket Centre in January, where he has been given some glowing reports of how he went.”
Gilkes proved his father’s comments right, as he scored a 96 in ACT first grade for Western District and University of Canberra, prior to the CHS tournament.
Gilkes’ NSW CHS team, which he is the vice-captain of, will face off against NSW CCC and NSW CIS from March 13 in Sydney, in a tri-series that the NSW All-Schools team is selected from. The All-Schools team will travel to Queensland later this year.
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